Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dubai on film

So I watched Ridley Scott's Body of Lies last night. I'm a massive fan of Scott's (as the Bladerunner poster below shows), and think both Russel Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio are talented actors. The movie, while slightly long, was quite good. I'd probably give it a 7 out of 10. One of the more interesting parts of the film for me, was the short section that took place in Dubai. According to the wikipedia entry for the film, Ridley Scott sought permission to shoot in Dubai itself, but the request was denied by the National Media Council, due to the film's "politically sensitive nature".

So apparently they shot all of the 'Middle East' scenes in Morocco. This makes sense, because there's a street scene in Dubai that looks suspiciously like Rabat, in Morocco. Anyone who has been there will recognise the covered walkways alongside the avenues.

There's the obligitory establishing shot, which in the case of Dubai is shot from a helicopter moving behind what looks like Business Bay, up towards the Dusit hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road. It's funny to hear Leo say "I'm staying at the Joo-meee-rah Emmy-rates Towers", when he's being filmed in a place that looks like the pool area at the Hyatt near JBR.

There's also a part where a businessman is photographed in a Dubai club called The Cyclone Club. I thought that this was made-up, or was just another name for that club called Hurricanes or whatever, but a quick google search showed that there is actually a club called Cyclone in Dubai. It has apparently been open since '94, but it looks pretty scummy.

Overall, Body of Lies was a pretty decent move, but the fact that they weren't allowed to shoot in Dubai would be pretty obvious to anyone who has lived here for any length of time. But it's still worth checking out..

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